In their efforts to create global awareness, educate and sensitize beneficiaries of the SSNIT student loan scheme, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), launched the loan repayment program at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington DC on Wednesday, August 25, 2004.
The initiative is to recover about 25 million dollars outstanding debt due for repayment by beneficiaries of the SSNIT loan scheme, an educational funding program initiated by the Ghana Government since 1988 to help fund tertiary education.
Launching the program in the US on behalf of H. E. Ambassador Fritz Poku, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Isaac Aggrey applauded the initiative and assured SSNIT of the Embassy's support with the recovery process, which he said will help sustain the scheme.
A three-member delegation from SSNIT, led by Mr. Kwasi Boatin, Head of Finance, explained that the exercise was to reach out to defaulters who are believed to be residing out of the country. Other members of the delegation were, Mr. Richard Asamoa-Mensah, Head of Student Loan Scheme and Mr. Osei Bimpong, Head of Public Affairs.
Mr. Boatin said to ease the difficulties faced by beneficiaries to repay their loans, as well as to avoid the option of relying on the retirement benefits of guarantors to offset their debts, it became imperative for SSNIT to initiate a more practical medium of collecting outstanding debts.
“ It is a moral obligation for beneficiaries to repay their debt to enable other students to benefit from the very facility that helped them through their education” Mr. Asamoah-Mensah said.
Mr. Osei Bimpong also indicated that the SSNIT student loan should not be mistaken for a grant and that beneficiaries are obliged to repay back with interest.
Mr. Bimpong noted that currently the scheme pays about 2.5 million cedis per student/per semester at an interest rate of 10%.
Beneficiaries of the loan can obtain an update of their loan balance through emails to [email protected] or [email protected] Additionally, payments of loans can be made at J.P Morgan Chase Bank in the United States and the Ghana International Bank in the United Kingdom.